It's slightly funny to think that I have a usual routine, being in month five of my new practice as a sole practitioner, but I do somewhat have a "usual." I usually practice in the Circuit Court of Cook County, where the courthouse is located 1 1/2 blocks from my office. Most of the estates that I open, and most of the guardianships are filed in this courthouse.
I do, on occasion, travel to Will County, Lake County, DuPage County and Kane County, but less frequently. Probably less than 10% of my practice is located outside of Cook County.
Recently, however, I was contacted by a family law attorney (aka divorce attorney) who represents a second wife with a prenuptial agreement, who was named as a respondent in a citation to discover assets in her deceased husband's estate. The estate is pending in Lee County, Illinois, with the courthouse located in the town of Dixon, Illinois - 103.5 miles west of Chicago.
When he initially asked me if I traveled outside of Cook County, I didn't hesitate. Sure, why not. It sounded like an interesting case, and clearly within my specialty - a contested decedent's estate.
Given that Dixon is the birthplace of President Ronald Reagan, I knew that it would have some historic charm, and I was hopeful that I would be visiting one of the older, stately courthouses.
It turned out not to be the case - the historic courthouse, built in 1901, has been replaced with a modern court building, where the jail, probation offices, circuit court, and veteran affairs offices are all located. Nice, but not as impressive as the historic building.
My court hearing took a bit longer than expected, so I didn't really have time to investigate the town of Dixon, which is right on the Rock River - although I certainly did sense some history. There were definitely numerous references to President Reagan, which was not unexpected.
Leaving my house at 6:00 a.m. in order to arrive in Dixon for a 9:00 a.m. hearing - not so much fun, but it felt good to step out of my usual routine. Thank goodness for Audible......I'm listening to Freedom by Jonathan Franzen.